Department of Energy & Climate Change has reported that the latest offshore oil and gas licensing round, which closed for applications on Friday 25 April, has received a strong response with 173 applications from industry for around 370 blocks.
Energy Minister, Michael Fallon, said: “It’s 50 years since North Sea licensing began and there remains an extraordinary level of interest which is excellent news for industry and for the UK economy.
“We have committed to implementing all of Sir Ian Wood’s recommendations to help maximise recovery of North Sea oil and gas, and the Chancellor is reviewing the tax regime.
“Making the most of Britain’s home grown energy is crucial to keep job and business opportunities, get the best deal for customers and reduce our reliance on foreign imports.”
The department will scrutinise applications over the coming months and aims to start awarding acreage in the autumn.
The UK’s oil and gas sector still provides almost half of the country’s energy and is by far the largest single industrial UK investor. Directly and indirectly it supports around 450,000 jobs in the UK.